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submits proposals for AIPPA amendments
THE Media and
Information Commission has submitted proposals to the Government
for amendments to the Access
to Information and Protection of Privacy Act to facilitate regulation
of distributors of foreign published material meant for public consumption
by the commission, MIC chairperson Dr Tafataona Mahoso, said yesterday.
Dr Mahoso told the parliamentary portfolio committee on Transport
and Communications that AIPPA only provided for the regulation of
publishers and was silent on distributors as some of them were distributing
subversive material of foreign origin.
He was presenting
oral evidence to the committee on the role and functions of the
MIC. "It is essential that we should regulate both the publishers
and the distributors. Those distributors which import foreign periodicals
should indicate where they are procuring such periodicals," Dr Mahoso
said. The MIC boss said he imagined what would happen in the event
that unknown distributors circulate material hostile to the Government
on the eve of a major election. The commission, Dr Mahoso said,
had so far registered 86 mass media service providers that included
magazines and newsletters with 1 300 journalists having been accredited.
of the parliamentary committee Cde Leo Mugabe, who is Makonde MP
(Zanu-PF), wanted to know the commissionís position in relation
to the registration of the Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe and
Tribune newspaper. Dr Mahoso said he could not comment on the matter
as it was sub judice. "As far as the Tribune is concerned, they
appealed to the Supreme Court. As far as the ANZ is concerned, the
last judgment said we can not touch that. So it is in the courts,"
Newspaper was suspended from publishing after it failed to inform
the MIC on the change of ownership from Ukubambana Kubatana Investments
(UKI), which was sold to former legislator Cde Kindness Paradza
and management, as required by the law. On the other hand, the ANZ,
publishers of the Daily News and Daily News on Sunday, was banned
for operating without a licence.
Court judge Justice Rita Makarau last week set aside the commissionís
decision to deny ANZ a licence as a media service provider, meaning
that the media organisation can now have their application for registration
with MIC considered afresh.
Turning to the
issue of voluntary regulation by journalists, Dr Mahoso said the
commission would welcome such a development. He said there were
perceptions that AIPPA prohibited voluntary regulation by the journalists
and this was not true. Dr Mahoso however, said there was need to
investigate some journalists who were clandestinely writing news
articles for organisations hostile to Zimbabwe such as the Voice
The MIC boss
also said some of the emerging unions purporting to represent the
interests of journalists were driven by nothing but the love of
donor money. The commission, he said, had toured some of the institutions
offering journalism studies and would liase with the Ministry of
Higher and Tertiary Education to find ways of improving the training.
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